Shake Hands With Danger
- Publication date
- ca. 1970s
- Public Domain
- Digitizing sponsor
- Caterpillar Tractor Company
Color faded to yellowish/brown.
Great title song, country-style.
Safety film about dangers associated with earthmoving equipment operation.
Many great simulated accidents on construction sites. May be frightening and surprising to some viewers.
Earthmover sideswipes a house Ð shot from both inside and outside house.
ÒProfessional stuntmen were used to re-create and dramatize actual accidents.Ó
- Closed captioning
- ca. 1970s
- Run time
Subject: Good Film
Subject: Well done!
Subject: That's enough shaking hands with danger
They need to come back every year and do this. So, so funny.
Subject: Shake Hands With Danger!
Subject: 70s Horror film
I suppose they were helpful in promoting safety awareness but one thing I've noticed about these kinds of company-made safety films is that these media are a kind of corporate propaganda. The worker is always the one at fault; management or the company itself are never depicted as negligent.
I'm grateful for the comments of the reviewer who was the former Centron employee, which provides essential background. The fact that "Carnival of Souls" director Herk Harvey was directing this explains the lurid and tense horror movie tones here, which is more unsettling than just mere gore...grievous injury or kills are served up as entertainment. It's an interesting contrast because Harvey's "Carnival of Souls", for which he'll be remembered, is gore and violence-free -- more like an angst-suffused Twilight Zone episode.
Take off a star for some tediousness and cheapness, it'd surely get 5 stars as an MST3K short though!
Subject: He fell own his haid
Subject: Superb Work Scare Film
Subject: Great Video
Subject: Shake Hands with Danger!
What makes this one special is that they decided to write an original country-western song to go with the film and that they used professional stuntmen from Hollywood to do the stunts. The film was widely-distributed among construction and engineering classes, and was extremely well-received. It was the most award-winning industrial film of 1980, according to "Educational Screen": "'Shake Hands with Danger' was one of only four American-made films selected as official U.S. entries in the 21st International Industrial Film Festival in Copenhagen, Denmark. It won the first-place Gold Cup Award in the category of Safety Education Films, marking only the second time in 10 years that an American film received a first prize at this particular international event. Additional recognition came to the film through a Blue Ribbon Award at the American Film Festival of New York, a Gold Camera Award at the U.S. Industrial Film Festival, a Golden Eagle Award at CINE of Washington, a Chris Statuette at the Columbus Film Festival, a silver plaque at the International Film and TV Festival of New York and designation as the best public education film by the Public Relations Society of America."
If you have half an hour to kill, I would definitely recommend watching this film. The music, the gravel-voiced narrator (Charlie Oldfather, who was a professor of law at the University of Kansas after whom the KU film school is now named), and the fact that each time something's about to happen, you don't know whether it will be deadly or just a close call, makes this a must-see. They don't seem to do safety films like this anymore. And now my usual informative crew-listing, from Centron's production records: the film was produced by Art Wolf and Russ Mosser, directed by Herk Harvey, and written by John Clifford, with photography by John English and Bob Rose, sound by Jim Stringer, and editing by Stephanie Murray. Jim Stringer and John Clifford wrote the theme song and other music, with narrator Oldfather doing the singing. As a note, this film was one of the last great triumphs of Centron. Due to the shift from film to video technology, and due to the fact that the founders and original employees of the company were nearing retirement age, Centron would soon fold within a few years, selling out to Coronet in Chicago. But we still have all the old films we can watch. Highly recommended!
Subject: The Song is Great!
Subject: Still used for military heavy equipment operator school
Subject: Safety First
Subject: Do Not Apply
Subject: Love the music
Subject: I wrote that music!
The film's director was Herk Harvey, best known as the director of the 1960's cult classic, "Carnival of Souls", which is now available on DVD in its uncut, totally goofy splendor. Herk was a memorable man and was loved by everyone... he died in the late 90's, but I think of him often.
I wrote the music and produced the tracks, as well as played guitar. The lyrics were written by my long time associate, John Clifford. He and I had sort of a jingle mill going for several years -- he'd write the lyrics, I'd write music and produce the jingle. John, who is in his mid-80's now, started his career writing jokes for Jimmy Durante and besides several novels, plays, etc., wrote the screen-play for "Carnival...Â
The "vocalist" was the late Charles Oldfather who was Dean of the University Of Kansas Law School for many years. The building which houses the KU film school is name after him, and is, in fact, the former site of Centron Films which closed its doors a few years after I left. Mr. Oldfather was a major country music junkie and is probably grinning in his grave over even a casual comparison to Johnny Cash.
Other players on the tracks include bassist Paul Miller who toured with jazz great Jay McShann during the 1980's, did a one year stint with the original Platters and continues to play professionally. Gary Mackender played drums -- Gary now lives in Tucson, AZ where he's an artist and plays accordion with the Carnivaleros. Mike Poholsky played pedal steel... he's the one player who has retired from the profession, opting to make money instead. Me... I'm in Austin, TX, still trying to eke out a living playing guitar, singing and writing songs, though I gave up film music and jingles shortly after leaving Centron in 1985. Look me up on the web sometime at "jimstringer.us" to see what's shakin' these days!
Subject: A quick road to trouble
Subject: A Classic!
Subject: A classic in every sense.
Subject: Shake Hands with Danger
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****. Also available on The Educational Archives, Vol. 4: On the Job.
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